There have been a number of famous Irish film directors through the decades. While some are well respected for their body of work, others have become famous - or infamous - because of other reasons. While some of these directors may not be as famous to the casual movie fan, their best films should be well known. So let's take a look at some of the most famous Irish film directors, some of whom made their fame at home and others who are better known on the international scene.

  1. Kenneth Branagh - Branagh is arguably the most famous Irish film director outside of Ireland. He not only directs, but is also well known as an actor and a writer; in fact, he is one of only eight directors to have received Academy Award nominations for acting, writing and directing. His most recognized works include his film adaptations of several Shakespeare plays, such as "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Hamlet". He also directed 1994's "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein", in which he also starred alongside Robert De Niro.

  2. Neil Jordan - Jordan is another famous Irish film director with a considerable body of work. He was nominated for and won the Academy Award for the screenplay for 1992's "The Crying Game", which he wrote and directed. Some of this other well known works are "Interview with a Vampire", "Michael Collins", and "The End of the Affair".

  3. William Desmond Taylor - Taylor was a famous Irish film director in the early part of the 20th century. He was at one point President of the Motion Picture Directors Association and directed movies that starred actors like Mary Pickford and Wallace Reed. Sadly, Taylor is more famous for the unsolved murder that led to his death. Taylor was shot to death in February of 1922, and the scandalous circumstances surrounding his death, as well as the motley cast of suspects, guaranteed that Taylor would be enshrined in the book of the Hollywood famous.

  4. Brian Desmond Hurst - This famous Irish film director has a fairly extensive body of work, but is perhaps best known for directing 1951's "Scrooge", which is perhaps the best loved adaptation of the Charles Dickens' work "A Christmas Carol".

  5. Steve Barron - While Barron was the director of the SNL-spinoff movie "Coneheads" and the original "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turrles" movie, he's most famous for his work directing music videos. His works include some of the most renowned videos of all time, such as Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean", Dire Strait's "Money for Nothing" and a-ha's "Take On Me".